Tribute

Please share your stories about Peri.

3 thoughts on “Tribute

  1. We met in the summer of 1983 as counselors at a girl’s camp the summer of my 17th birthday. If memory serves me correctly, you were the gymnastics instructor and I was a tennis instructor. After a few days, I slipped and fell which resulted in a deep laceration in my leg below my knee. I was taken to the hospital and sewn up, over 200 stitches! When I got back to camp, I went back to my cabin, unable to walk on my leg. You came to see me that night to see if I had eaten, which I had not. The next morning when breakfast was served, you brought me breakfast before you ate. That was very sweet, BUT what makes it even more considerate, was the distance and the small mountain you had to hike. You asked me about my medication and I didn’t know. You went to the nurse and came back with antibiotics. You went and taught your classes, came back with lunch, back to class and back with dinner. Late that night when you came to check on me, you hauled me to the camp infirmary because you said I needed to go. The next morning your care continued. You made sure someone brought me breakfast and had distributed my meds. A few days later, I flew home from camp early. Over the course of the next year, I was unable to resume my sports activities, no soccer, no tennis, no golf, no basketball, nothing. I had always been very active in sports since I was a child. It still hurt all of the time, locked up, dislocated etc. On a Saturday, in December 1984, Champ Baker, James Andrews and Jack Hughston all took a look at my knee. They were flabbergasted that I was still able to walk. I was scheduled for knee reconstruction surgery the upcoming Monday. When I came out of surgery, Dr. Baker presented me with a specimen cup of earth debris that the original doctor had not removed. All three made the statement that I should have lost my leg due to infection. Well, here I am today (30 years later), playing golf, hunting and fishing, and playing on the water. I have had a few surgeries on my knee along the way to repair cartilage, scar tissue, etc, but I have my leg and it works just fine. There hasn’t been a day that has gone by that I haven’t seen my leg and that scar that I haven’t thought of you and how grateful, appreciative and thankful I am for all you did for me. Had it not been for you and your care, my life would be much different. Thank you, Peri. I have been reading your posts for about two years, followed the peaks and valleys, all the while watching you with your children in amazement. I have heard you speak of Gordon and he of you, and I know the love in your home is palpable. Reading your guest book is a testament to you and the way you lead and live your life and all of those you help along the way. I watched the video of you from New Channel 5, I was so glad to hear your voice again. This was much longer than I anticipated, so I will end this with a big thank you.

  2. I wrote this on Peri’s CB! If you have a Peri story to memorialize please feel free to share here and/or on her CB site!

    My sweet friend,

    reading your latest post and knowing all the positive sowing you have done for others throughout your life of service and fellowship….I am moved beyond words that you are reaping….flocks are drawing to you and showering you with all the love and care that you have shown throughout you life!

    i hope that maybe some of us can memorialize examples of your sowing!

    i remember…..
    when you were in grad school at Carbondale and you worked with a woman named Mary who had cerebral palsy and had been confined to a wheelchair throughout her life. You called me and asked if she could join you and I on an over the Christmas holidays trip to my Dad’s condo in Naples, FL. You told me that Mary had never flown or seen the beach and ocean.

    We flew her into Birmingham, Al where I lived at the time and where our trip was to start. We loaded up the car and the 3 of us hit the road late that night….driving straight through. Mary’s excitement seeing the beach and the gulf was of full joy….kinda like watching a kid open “the” gift they wanted most from Santa. We took Mary the next day down to the beach….lifting her out of her wheelchair and placing her in a beach chair! She touched the sand for the first time and was giddy. Later that day at low tide, we moved a chair to the edge of the water and placed Mary down and she sat there with the tide rolling up on her legs and receding. I can still hear her laugh of pure excitement! The water was fairly calm and you asked her if she wanted to have us lift her into the water ( she had a life jacket on already as a precaution she wanted)! We picked her up and went out not very far…but far enough for her comfort and for her to have had the experience of being in the gulf!

    many of the people living in my Dad’s condo building were older “snowbirds” who migrated down from the north. A rare few who were intent on mostly being grumpy….I saw approach us and especially Mary with words of kindness! They had been touched by Mary’s exuberance and some for the first time….I saw them smile!

    We drove back to Birmingham a few days later and you guys packed up your car and headed back to Carbondale! My Dad ( who was one of the most friendly, life-loving people I ever knew) called me and went on and on about what nice things the people from the condos had told him about what the gift of kindness that they had witnessed….and how they were moved by what they saw!

    That is one of my memories of your sowing! Mary saw, touched, experienced being at the beach and in the saltwater….all because of you as always thinking about others and how to enrich their lives! You are truly a gift to so many and have positively touched more lives than you will ever know! I thank you for all the times you have touched mine!!!

  3. Peri and I shared a common bond that involved two over active little girls Taylor and my daughter Ingram. They seem to play so hard when they were together and their energy kept Peri and I constantly saying stop. Over the years the girls grow, changed schools and Peri and I saw each other less and less. But each encounter was just like the last – a long talk, catching up and my trying to remember all the children’s names.

    Today, hearing of Peri’s death and reading her blogs has been difficult. I cherished her friendship and my heart aches for her loss. I will always remember our times, the laughter and how each encounter was such a joy. Together we shared our little girls and today we share young women. Gordon and Taylor I am as close as a call or email. You have my prayers and I mourn with you in Peri’s passing.

    Cris Stovall

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